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“Location and price make up for whats not nice”

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Pestana Bahia Praia
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Location and price make up for whats not nice”
Reviewed 23 April 2014

What a mixed bag. Some things about this place were sensational and others were terrible. I think it has the potential to be amazing with a bit of work.

First thing: the price was absolutely smashing, and included a king room, ocean views and daily breakfast for 2. It was in a superb location on the island, close to the highway and roughly in the middle. This is the "good side" of San Miguel to stay on, it was much much warmer and sunnier than the northern side. And this hotel seemed to be in the sunniest pocket of the whole island. We would walk out into a sunny warm day to the car, drive to some place of interest, get out of the car and be freezing! This happened the whole week we are there. Conclusion: best location on the island!

Feature-wise, this hotel has it all (with some caveats). Beautiful gardens surround the hotel. It is right on the ocean, and most rooms have an ocean view and balcony. It has it's own private access point to the beach. It has an in-ground pool with bar. We spent a few evenings by the pool and were served well by the very quirky barman, who was happy to stay open late if you wanted to keep ordering. It has a restaurant, as well as a bar serving bar food - but the bar menu was pretty ordinary and anything that we did order from the restaurant was, well, not good, not good at all. Disappointing, because unless you want to travel into the main city for dinner, or know where the hidden gems are in the tiny backstreets of the towns, you don't really have many dinner options. Especially if you are a vegetarian - if you are, stock up on goods from the supermarket in the city before heading back to the room to make your own dinner! The hotel has a gym, although I don't think it is used much and was under the hotel, I ventured in and walked out because of the dank mustiness.

Staff: another mixed bag. One of the women at the front desk was borderline rude every time we spoke to her. When we arrived, we were 1 hour before check-in, because we had forgot to allow for the time difference. She turned us away. And I mean away, not inviting us to sit in the lobby or the bar downstairs. Fair enough if the room wasn't ready, but she could have been polite about it. I doubt that the room wasn't ready, because the hotel would have been less than half booked, so surely some room fitting our purchase would have been available? Not to worry, we hung out in the garden and enjoyed the sea view for an hour. When we returned, she rudely told us the room was still not ready, and made us wait an additional 10 minutes before allowing us in. Maybe she just didn't like something about us, because she gave us one of the worst possible rooms she could have- we booked a room with an ocean view, and yes it did have this, but it was the most remote corner view/glimpse of the least picturesque side of the ocean. It looked straight out over the garden (nice) but to see the ocean one had to crane to the right. It was also the smallest room on the level: we could see this by the floor plans on the fire exit chart. Our room was reduced in size by about a third compared to the other rooms around us because of the cleaners storage room taking up some of the space next to our room. Other staff at the front desk were nice, but we mostly saw the rude lady. The restaurant staff were also rude, add that to their tasteless, overcooked meals.

Despite having the smallest room on the floor, the room was a good size. But it was cluttered with WAY too much furniture. Random buffets and desks lined the wall. There was so much furniture in the room, that to open the door to the balcony, we had to move the coffee table and lounge chair up against the bar fridge. Frustratingly, every day we had to rearrange it because the cleaners kept putting it back. The bathroom was a generous size, with separate toilet. It was decorated beautifully in marble. But the design of the shower head and shower curtain was useless - there was literally no way to shower without practically flooding the bathroom floor. The first shower event (no practice) resulted in every towel in the room having to be used to prevent the excess water escaping onto the carpet. It was equally splendid when we returned to our room that evening to find that the cleaners had not replaced these wet towels, only rehung them on the rack. Thanks. Last of all, the massive king ( 2 singles pushed together) was one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever lain on. I do not think the mattresses have been replaced since the building was erected. I could hear the few remaining springs pinging loose (i am not at all heavy!). It sagged terribly, and pained my back much.

So to summarise, complete mixed bag. Big rooms with too much furniture and terrible beds. Great bathroom but prone to flooding. 2 eateries with bad staff and food. Extensive list of features many of which have been let go. Plenty of staff, half of which are rude. I guess that is why a massive hotel in a great location is priced so low. Give this place an overhaul (including the staff) and it could be a palace.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank ravenhair99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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Ulm, Germany
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014

The hotel is situated on well kept ground on the direct oceanfront some 14 miles from Ponta Delgada. You will definitively need a rental car.
The hotel must have been first class in times gone. Now the building and the interior badly need refurbishing.
Our complaints:
1. Extremily dirty windows throughout the hotel. 2. The sliding door to the balcony of our room could only bee opened by Hercules (We changed the room after 2 days.). 3. Dirty carpets in the corridors. 4. Dirty toilets in both rooms we used. 5. A piece of cake that we left overnight in the wrapping we bought it in on a table was colonized by hundreds of ants in the next morning.
This Hotel definitively does not earn more than one star.
We stayed in march 2014, when the hotel was booked only about 10%

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Michael_G61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
106 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2013

This hotel has a beautiful location and is by car (you need to rent a car on the Sao Miguel island of the Azores) only a 20 mn drive (by highway) to Ponta Delgada (capital of Sao Miguel).
The staff at the front desk is not very friendly or accomodating.
Rooms (suites) are large but outdated - alltough our suite was very clean.
Breakfast is OK, but do not book half board, because the half board restaurants quality is very poor and really not worth 25 Eur pp. (Through circumstances we had to eat there (fortunately) only once. On the other hand, the a la carte restaurant is very good as well the food itself as the service. The maitre d'hotel was a really friendly guy. In the a la carte restaurant you pay in average for 2 persons 60-65 Eur (first, second course and dessert, bottle of water and small bottle of wine)
The hotel itself is in general pretty outdated including swimming pool area. A very large park is surrounding the hotel (with direct connection to the beach), but the park is really empty.
One could imagine there a very large tropical park, which would e a paradise.
This hotel needs investments in refurnishing the rooms and swimming pool area, to become (again) a top hotel, because of its location.
So, in general not a bad hotel, but,as mentioned, modernising it will make it a very good hotel.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 9000Gent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

The Bahia Palace used to be q
a good hotel (I think), but their best times are gone :

- The front desk staff is very rude.
- The ''food'' provided in the hotel costs 25€ and is very bad. It is in buffet style, but the choice is very limited.
You can go to the restaurant Atlantico (which I recommend) and get a delicious meal with drinks for 25€.
- The rooms are old (old tv that doesn't work, stained carpet, worn sofas etc...)
- Our shower didn't work for our whole 10 day stay, and the staff couldn't care less.
- There is only wifi in the lobby, and it is ridicously expensive (3€/hour)
- The "minibar" is dirty and completely empty.
- The bar in the hotel is open from 3pm untill 10pm30.

All around, the hotel is terribly dirty, very empty and certainly not recommended by me or my 6 travel companions (2 guys between 21-26 and two women between 40-50).

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Josmaesen1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
54 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2013 via mobile

It is true that The hotel is a bit run down. Old furniture, carpet floor. However ater 5 nights there i do not have a single complaint and i would recommend it. It is not a resort but it is great for a short visit to The azores. It is Very central in The island but also Very quiet and with a big beach next to The hotel. The rooms are quite big and confortable and The pool is Very Nice.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Nuno377
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
55 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Beautyful location in a quiet bay, 10min by car from Vila Franca / 25min from Ponta Delgada. Spacious rooms with good beds, large bathroom, little fridge and balcony. Looks rather more like an apartment than a hotelroom! Room was cleaned well every day by friendly ladies.

Some facilities were somewhat outdated (like old, broken pool beds and umbrella's and the lower floor in the hotel). However there were new beds installed outside after mention this to the manager, well done!

Food in the hotel is not too good. Everyday same breakfast (bread, cheese, ham, pre-baked eggs/bacon/sausage, some fruit and cereals/yoghurt. Bad coffee!). This gets soon very booring. Snacks at the poolbar weren't too good either (club sandwich however is recommendable). Too bad, the hotel itself is very good!
However for lunch/dinner there is a restaurant at the beach for some good food and snacks if you want to stay in the bay. We ate there a lot!

If the management would try to get better quality of the food they would easy deserve a 5* rate.

Room Tip: Bayview is very good but you'll have the hot sun in the afternoon (untill sunset) right on your...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lny126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
129 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

This WAS a wonderful hotel many years ago. No repairs having been done, it's old and run down. Which is a shame since its localization is wonderful, in front of the sea and close to the beach.
Cons: AC malfunctioning (too old, we're told), horrible showers that just don't work (couldn't take the shampoo out my head), old carpets, mattresses too soft (I guess old and worn out too, didn't care to investigate), poor pillows. The pool is very noisy during the day (children and parents crying like crazy: no music thank God). Quite nights though.
Pros: enormous rooms, awsome views, very silent during the night, wonderful sound of the waves, good breakfast, magnificent location (one of the best beaches of the island metres away). Correct taff.
One last advice: you'll definitely need to hire a car. The public transportation is very poor in the island.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Clara P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pestana Bahia Praia

Property: Pestana Bahia Praia
Address: | Praia Baía de Água d’Alto, Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel 9680, Portugal (Formerly Hotel Bahia Palace)
Region: Portugal > Azores > Sao Miguel > Vila Franca do Campo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Vila Franca do Campo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Pestana Bahia Praia 4*
Number of rooms: 101
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on São Miguel Island, with direct access to the beach "Baia de Água d'Alto" and with clear panoramic view to the Atlantic Ocean, you can find here the harmony and peace that you need for your holidays. São Miguel is the largest island of the archipelago, where more than half of the island's population lives at. Together with Santa Maria Island, São Miguel forms the Eastern Group of the Azores Archipelago. Whether for its proximity to the ocean, as well as for its large outdoor freshwater swimming pool. Every single area of this 4-star hotel was exhaustively planned in order to ensure the communion between elegance and good taste with the environment. The rooms have a balcony and a panoramic view over the ocean, along with the hills. Save some time to admire the exquisiteness that surrounds you. All the spaces were carefully planned in order to make good taste and elegance prevail in a classic and refined atmosphere, in synchrony with the surrounding beauty. This is a resort with a strong affinity to water. This Hotel has at your will a wide range of facilities that include Junior and Senior Suites, restaurants, bars, swimming pool, conference rooms, games rooms, library and reading room, saunas, gym, gardens and areas reserved for banquets, marriages and baptisms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Bahia Palace
Pestana Bahia Praia Azores/Sao Miguel

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